Social Security Disability Hurdle 1: Substantial Gainful Activity (SGA)

One of the 5 hurdles you must meet to be paid Social Security Disability is what is called the Substantial Gainful Actvity (SGA) test.

If you can’t meet this hurdle, the evaluative process stops and the Social Security Administration (SSA) will find that you are not disabled.

What is Substantial Gainful Activity? If you are working and earning $900.00 gross per month, SSA will find that you are not disabled… no matter how impaired you are.

The work must be both substantial and gainful. Substantial work activity involves work that requires “signficant physical or mental activities” 20 C.F.R. 404.1572(a). If you can’t do ordinary or simple tasks without more supervision or assistance usually given to other people doing the same type of work or the work involves minimal duties that make little or no demand, the work won’t be considered substantial.

Gainful work is determined by looking at your earnings. If you make more than $900.00 gross per month you will not meet the earnings test.

The work is evaluated without regard to legality so that even illegal activity, such as selling stolen goods, may be substantial gainful activity.

SSA looks very closely at SGA when the person applying for disability is self-employed as they want to make sure the work the self-employed person is doing is not substantial and gainful.

When SSA raises the SGA hurdle, we always contact your employer to determine the true facts behind your employment.

If you would like more information or if you have any questions give us a call at 727-894-3188 or contact us at www.caveylaw.com.

If you would like more information about your rights regarding Social Security Disability Benefits, you can order our FREE book,"Your Rights to Social Security Disability Benefits" by submitting the form in the sidebar. We will send it out immediately along with other important information.

For more information about Social Security Disability Benefits, visit our law firm web site at CaveyLaw.com. If you would like to speak with one of our Social Security Disability Benefits attorneys about your case, feel free to call us anytime at (727) 897-9117 or simply submit our contact form and we will get back to you quickly.

Social Security Benefits and Spinal Stenosis

Spinal Stenosis involves the narrowing of lumbar or cervical spine which causes a painful compression of the nerve roots.

Symptoms include back pain that spreads to the legs, difficulty, imbalance or weakness when walking, leg and neck pain and numbness and pain in the buttocks, thighs or calves that worsens with standing, walking.

Spinal stenosis affects middle age to elderly people and can be caused by osteoarthritis, Paget’s disease or my an injury that causes pressure on the nerve roots or the spinal cord.

You may entitled to Social Security Disability benefits as a result of Spinal Stenosis for more information about your rights to Social Security Disability benefits or for your free no obligation guide to “Your Rights to Social Security Disability Benefits,” call 727-894-3188 or visit our website at www.caveylaw.com.

FAQ: What is Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI)?

SSDI is a payroll, tax funded, Federal disability insurance program. If you look at your pay stub you will that your employer deducts not only payment for your income tax but for FICA taxes. A portion of the FICA taxes that you pay are set aside for Social Security Disability and retirement.

SSDI will provide you with disability income if you are unable to work as a result of a disability. Once you reach retirement age, 65 years or older, you will be changed from Social Security Disability to Social Security Retirement Income.

If you have any questions contact us at www.caveylaw.com or give us a call at 727-894-3188.

Medical Vocational Guidelines and Transferable Skills

The Social Security Administration uses a grid process to determine whether or not your skills transfer to a job within your physical abilities that exist in significant numbers in the mythical national economy.

For example if you are 50 years or older and are limited to sedentary work you will win or lose your Social Security Disability case based on whether or not you have transferable skills to sedentary.

On the other hand, if you are 55 years or older then the rule extends to light work. You will win or lose your case if you are 55 years or older based on whether or not you have skills that transfer to a significant range of semi skilled or skilled light work.

If you’ve only done unskilled work in the past, you have no transferable skills.

Therefore, transferability only becomes an issue if your work history involved semi-skilled or skilled work.

The older you are the less likely it is that you have skills that are not transferable for a significant range of work in a mythical economy.

Sounds confusing? It sure it.

A former Social Security Adminsitration attorney, Sharon Barrett, who practices in the Tampa/St. Petersburg area, can make sense of a transferable skills issue and develop the necessary medical and vocational evidence to improve your chances of receiving Social Security Disability benefits.

If you have any more questions feel free to contact us at www.caveylaw.com or give us a call at 727-894-3188.

If you would like more information about your rights regarding Social Security Disability Benefits, you can order our FREE book,"Your Rights to Social Security Disability Benefits" by submitting the form in the sidebar. We will send it out immediately along with other important information.

For more information about Social Security Disability Benefits, visit our law firm web site at CaveyLaw.com. If you would like to speak with one of our Social Security Disability Benefits attorneys about your case, feel free to call us anytime at (727) 897-9117 or simply submit our contact form and we will get back to you quickly.